Help Us Report on Rehab Programs that Force Patients into Unpaid Labor

NJ Spotlight | May 2, 2019 | Health Care
We’re partnering with the Reveal news outlet to report on rehab-for-work programs in New Jersey. You could help us to get the story right

Credit: Gabriel Hongsdusit/Reveal
Reveal rehab project
For nearly two years, journalists at Reveal — the news outlet for the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting — have been investigating drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs that require residents to work for free in exchange for food, housing and treatment.

They uncovered workcamps for private industry that forced low-income people with substance use disorders into slave-like conditions at chicken plants, assisted living facilities, or on landscaping crews. And they found that constant work left “little time for counseling or treatment, transforming rehab patients into a cheap, expendable labor pool for private companies.”

Responses to the stories in Reveal’s “All Work. No Pay” series suggest facilities like these exist across America, including in New Jersey.

To learn more, Reveal created a spreadsheet with tips that people sent to them and invited local journalists across the country to join them in investigating these reported rehab-for-work programs. NJ Spotlight has partnered with Reveal to follow up on tips related to several Garden State facilities, and we need your help to do it right.

If you have a story to share about a program that trades labor for treatment, please fill out this form and let us know. Your suggestions will be used by NJ Spotlight and Reveal to help develop stories about these facilities. We will not share your private information with program leaders or government officials and will not publish your name without permission.